• Monday, July 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Bellingham’s Euro 2024 future at risk over x-rated gesture

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Jude Bellingham risks being banned from England’s Euro 2024 quarter-final against Switzerland after making an X-rated gesture while celebrating against Slovakia.

The Real Madrid star rescued England in the round of 16 with a spectacular equalizer in the 95th minute. England then secured a 2-1 victory in extra time thanks to a headed goal by captain Harry Kane.

Bellingham was seen on TV kissing his right hand before making a crotch-grabbing gesture. He explained it was an “inside-joke gesture towards some close friends who were at the game” and not aimed at the Slovakia bench.

UEFA released a statement on Monday saying, “A UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspector will conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of the basic rules of decent conduct by the English Football Association player, Jude Bellingham, having allegedly occurred in the scope of this match. Information on this matter will be made available in due course.”

Bellingham defended his actions on social media, posting, “An inside joke gesture towards some close friends who were at the game. Nothing but respect for how that Slovakia team played tonight.”

Despite this, UEFA has decided to investigate further, with a possible one-match ban looming.
The Football Association has also been charged over a “lack of order or discipline” from supporters and for fans lighting fireworks.

A precedent was set earlier in the tournament when Albania player Mirlind Daku received a two-match ban for leading nationalistic chants with a megaphone. It remains unclear if Bellingham will face a ban, but his suspension would force Gareth Southgate to reshuffle England’s midfield for the quarter-final against Switzerland.

Bellingham’s goal forced extra time, and Harry Kane’s early goal in the additional period completed England’s comeback victory.